Saturday, August 28, 2010

White Fright

Glenn Beck attracted a large crowd to the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, and judging by photographs and video of the crowd, it looks to be almost 100 percent white in a city completely dominated by African-Americans.

Of course, photos and videos can lie. The "lamestream media" will do anything to present their point of view.

We hear that all the time from Beck and his teabagging mate, Sarah Palin. In fact, it is people like Beck, who are a part of this so-called "lamestream" media, making such insane claims.

No one should confuse Beck, though, with sanity. And, he has tapped into that irrational side of Americans. (The gathering Saturday was anything but grassroots. It was Astroturfed all the way. Check this piece for a little enlightenment. Or this essay.)

Beck's most popular phrase is "they just don't understand."

Who are "they" and what don't they understand?

Who knows? Certainly, not Beck or Palin or their teabagging teammates: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly.

What was clearly obvious at the Beck bash is that a certain segment of white America is running scared, like they've wandered into the wrong neighborhood and don't know how or where to get out.

You hear comments about how people are "afraid" or how they're "scared" about what's happening to our country. You see the bumper stickers about "fearing" our government.


What these people are afraid of is that black man, a true African-American, is running our country and there isn't a damn thing they can do about it except whine until the cows come home.

What Beck and the teabaggers want to restore in America is the time-honored tradition of racism.

Beck and others talk of "American exceptionalism" (whatever that is) but our racism is no different than the racism practiced by most other nations on this earth. That's not exceptional, but rather painfully mundane and ordinary.

In the 1960s, Democrats had a coalition that included "Dixiecrats," southern racists who still harbored deep resentment over the first Republican, Abraham Lincoln, and would never become Republicans.

Well, the civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s, passed by the majority Democrats, began the long descent of the Republican Party into race-based politics. The GOP, the parent of the teabagging movement, now welcomes and embraces racists, as long as they vote for them.

Richard Nixon devised the "Southern" strategy but it was Ronald Reagan who championed the restoration of "whiteness" in America. Reagan sealed the deal with southern white racists and the south is now reliably Republican.

But, a majority chunk of America is not, including Oregon.

Most Americans can't understand people like Beck, Palin or the thousands who joined them on Saturday in D.C.

And, that's a good thing.

But, what the Beck rally confirmed is that we definitely do not live in a "post-racial" society.

Despite Obama's historic election, racism is still part of the definition of our country. Beck, himself, confirmed this when he called Obama a racist. This is common tactic of racists to deflect attention away from their own racism.

It is up to the rational Americans to reject the race-baiting rhetoric that Beck, Palin and the rest of "hatriots" practice.

They no longer represent the "silent majority" of the 1960s, but rather the "miserable minority" of the 21st century.

Let's make sure they stay a minority for years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment